Thus says the Lord: "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me...." —Jeremiah 9:23-24
It is true that much church activity is thrown back upon a shaky foundation of psychology and natural talents. It is sad but true that many a mother-in-law is actually praying that her handsome son-in-law may be called to preach because "he would have such a marvelous pulpit presence."
We live in a day when charm is supposed to cover almost the entire multitude of sins. Charm has taken a great place in religious expression. I am convinced that our Lord expects us to be tough enough and cynical enough to recognize all of this that pleases the unthinking in our churches: the charm stuff, the stage presence in the pulpit, the golden qualities of voice....
I feel sorry for the church that decides to call a pastor because "his personality simply sparkles!" I have watched quite a few of those sparklers through the years. In reality, as every kid knows at Fourth of July time, sparklers can be an excitement in the neighborhood—but only for about one minute! Then you are left holding a hot stick that quickly cools off in your hand. Tragedy in the Church: The Missing Gifts, 32-33.
"Lord, confirm for each of us as pastors our divine call, that we might indeed build on a strong foundation. Then bring conviction and repentance to any in our congregations who are judging us with the wrong criteria. Amen."